Two-city solution? | June 21
A Rays-Rowdies combo stadium
In all of the talk about the Tampa Bay Rays playing half of their home games in Montreal, no one has brought up that the Rays also own the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Rays ownership has put enough resources into the Rowdies that they sit in the top spot of USL Soccer Championship League. The Rowdies crowds are almost equal to the Rays attendance numbers on week-night Rays games.
It would energize the Tampa Bay sports market to enhance the Rays-Rowdies relationship. One new stadium should be built that both the Rays and Rowdies can use. The Rowdies should also relaunch their efforts to join Major League Soccer. Atlanta has one stadium for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and their Major League Soccer team, Atlanta United. Atlanta on a few occasions has sold out a 73,000 seat soccer stadium. Thinking that the Tampa Bay area can achieve at least half that number for a soccer match is very realistic.
The Tampa Bay sports market needs to dream big. Only small-minded people would put walls around what this area can accomplish if we all work together in a unified positive direction.
Eric Green, Tierra Verde
Don’t let the Rays divide us
Where are we heading? A fight over where to house a Major League Baseball team? Splitting time between Montreal and Tampa Bay is a joke. Let the Rays move, and we can learn to adjust. They are not bringing in that much to the local economy. The owners are just pitting Tampa and St. Petersburg against each other. Joe Voskerichian, Tampa
Rays can’t beat hockey
Please (or as my Canadian friends say, eh), stop playing games with us on this hair-brained Mont-Tamp Halibut-Rays baseball team. Did anybody at Major League Baseball headquarters look at the attendance the last few years the Expos were in Montreal? I did (well under 1 million each season). And this is an uptick for baseball?
Are the Canadians going to spend $1 billion on a new stadium like MLB wants us to spend? And we all know it’s going to cost at least $1 billion here as well.
Tampa Bay taxpayers need to know what it will cost us, and I’m sure the Canadians want to know how many “ loonies” they will have to fork over for a part-time team.
Doesn’t MLB know hockey season starts in the fall and that hockey is the only major sport of interest in Canada? Maybe the Canadians will replace the nets behind home plate and down the line with Plexiglass left over from hockey season and make everybody feel at home. Peter Barton, St. Petersburg
A real tale of two cities
It was the best of times and the worst of times with the Tampa Bay Rays considering dividing their time between two cities. I would like to see Tampa come up with a venue that could support Major League Baseball right now. The team could split time between St. Petersburg and Tampa until 2027 and then decide which city would hold up to the demands required to maintain Major League Baseball. It would certainly be better than splitting time between two countries.
The current situation isn’t working. Before anyone flies off to Canada with great expectations, try something closer to home. Tom Norman, Tarpon Springs